Question about IgG and Oligoclonal Bands

Hi, I’m a little confused. I have IgG and OC bands in my CSF. Serum is clear.

Does the presence of IgG indicate a past infection? Is IgG non-specific and relevant for any infection or imflammatory attack?

Also, what are OC Band’s made of? IgGs? Proteins? Antibodies? Do the bands show a range of anitbodies? (Antibodies are formed after an attack, yes?)

And also, what are IgM’s? (I think I have that right - the “cells” doing the fighting?)

I should have asked my neuro yesterday, but I forgot. I’ve tried to look online but I’m just confused. If anybody in the know could shed some light that would be great.

Biology was never my strongest point… Infact I’m embarrased that i dont know the answer to these questions!

TIA :slight_smile:

I’m afraid I’m rubbish at biology too, but here goes…(!)

Ig is the abbreviation for immunoglobulin which is another word for antibody. All antibodies are proteins.

IgG and IgM are types of antibodies - IgM is bigger and responds earlier than IgG.

Oligoclonal bands are a type of IgG.

If you have IgG / oligoclonal bands in both your CSF and your serum, then your whole body has been affected by something. If they are only in your CSF, then it was only your CNS that was affected.

Once they have been created in response to inflammation, they are always there.

There are a number of conditions that can cause inflammation of the CNS so LPs are not a definitive test for MS (especially as roughly 10% of people with clinically definite MS have a negative LP).


Karen x

Thanks Karen, yes that does help. I wonder do you know if IgM are ever found in CNS? Are they ever looked for? I’m just curious really.

Not a clue, sorry! (One of these years I will do a biology course!)


Thanks Karen. :slight_smile: These things seem more complicated than logic, hence I’m not a biologist and need to stop trying to figure it out!